Yukti Bajaj and Sheela Bajaj say “There is no age for passion. Age is just a number. You are more than that. You are never too old to follow your passion, never too old to live your dreams.”
We all create age limits in our minds. But if passion is still alive in your hearts, no number can stop us from rocking. Passion is finding happiness in what you love and embracing it. It is a beautiful thing to see passion still ignited in the face of time.
Yukti Bajaj and Sheela Bajaj
Yukti Bajaj brought out the talent of her grandmother Sheela Bajaj in front of an audience when she was 78 years old. Yukti grew up with her grandmother. Thus, the grandmother and granddaughter shared a deep bond. Yukti has seen her grandmother knitting a muffler, shawl, and gloves for her family and other people as well. She identified her talent and decided to turn it into a business. So let us read the story of Yukti Bajaj and her super ambitious grandmother.
Since childhood, I have been very close to my grandmother. I have spent most of my time with only her. Years ago, we were a joint family: my dad, mom, brother, my grandparents and me. When I was young, my father met with an accident and lost his life. A few years later, my mother passed away as well. It was a heartbreaking truth for both of us to accept.
My grandmother took our responsibility into her own hands and started taking care of us. She played all the possible roles a person could play in anyone’s life. She became our mother, father, grandmother, and best friend too. Raising both of us alone was a tough job for her but she managed it smoothly.
A while later, my brother shifted to Canada and we were left alone. We didn’t have much to do in our house. During the pandemic, everything became dull. Working from home and staying inside the house were a terrible thing to bear.
My grandmother would get bored because I didn’t have much time to spend with her. I would stay glued to my laptop but she didn’t like watching TV and scrolling feeds on the internet. My grandmother is a hardworking woman. She doesn’t like sitting and doing nothing.
Therefore, she started sewing mufflers, shawls, pillows, and cushions for us and our neighbours too. She loves sewing and knitting. It’s her love and passion. She always makes new things out of my old clothes or yarn. She learned it all in her childhood, in her school days, and from her mother.
So a thought struck my mind and I decided to create an Instagram page. In November 2020, I created the page ‘Caught Craft Handed’ and we began posting our product range online. Initially, it was tough to get noticed because no one knew about us. But with time, we began getting orders. They were not too frequent but my grandmother was really happy because someone was paying her for her hard work. She really enjoyed stitching and sewing for people.
It was a different phase for my grandmother as if she was living her dream life. My Grandma has studied till 11th grade. By the age of 17, she was married off. She belonged to a small town in Bihar, and her in-laws stayed in Delhi. She lived in a joint family with her in-laws and most of her life went into taking care of her in-laws, husband, kids, and rest of the family members. Even when she was busy with household chores, she used to save time for knitting mufflers, shawls, cushions, curtains, toys, sweaters, earrings, pieces of jewelry, home décor, table mats, etc. She has been extremely passionate about it. I loved seeing her that way. She was doing what she loved again.
In our business, before growing, we saw some tough times. There were days when we received 1 or 2 orders. Some days, no orders at all. It demotivated my grandmother. She started doubting her capabilities and worrying about the quality or whether people actually liked her products or not.
The Rise After
I did some research to understand the techniques to grow on Instagram.
Then we started creating reels, and polls to increase engagement. It did increase and ‘Caught Craft Handed’ span and it helped us reach more and more potential customers. Then a few pages asked us for collaboration. We got noticed by the famous media house The Better India. They published our story and garnered an amazing response on social media. ‘Caught Craft Handed’ went viral and our story was republished by many other media houses.
Our business grew into many folds and we hired other grannies from our neighborhood to get help. We shared a part of the profit with them.
Now, we are planning to launch a unique product range and standardize a few products that are loved by our audience. We want to join hands with more grannies who wish to work at this age as well.
Yukti Bajaj and Sheela Bajaj ‘s Intake
We both firmly believe that there is no age to achieve anything. You could learn and grow in life whenever you decide to take the charge, to take things into your hands. That’s why we want to employ and support those women who never lived for themselves.
My grandma always says “Do what you love. Keep your passion alive in you and make time for it; it will make you happy, and one day it will give you success. Retirement is just a 10-letter word that means nothing in front of passion. Follow it and live your life to the fullest until you are alive, not until you retire.”
Authored by Aashna Chawla
Edited by Yara Fakhoury
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